(This column originally appeared in the Toronto Sun)

Despite finally being open about it on Tuesday, Democratic Institutions Minister Maryam Monsef wanted to keep her recent trip to Iran and Afghanistan “hush-hush,” according to an interview she did after returning to Canada in 2014.

In a YouTube interview with Mike Judson, dated December 6, 2014, Judson said “you had just done a visit back to Afghanistan, and it was kind of hush-hush.”

“Yeah,” replied Monsef.

“Do you still want that visit to remain hush-hush?” asked Judson.

“Sort of,” replied Monsef. “Not because of safety,” she said, although she didn’t explain why she wanted the trip to remain “hush-hush.”

Monsef said she was in Iran and planned to cross into Afghanistan by car. When they arrived at the border, however, the situation seemed unsafe.

“So we just did a U (turn),” said Monsef. “I got my passport stamped and got the visa stuff looked after, and just got back into the car and drove back.”

Instead, according to Monsef, she spent the next “two months or so” in Iran, from December 2013 until early 2014, staying with relatives and working with Afghan refugees in Iran.

Monsef claims she had no status in Iran, and that her family applied for asylum in Montreal. Typically, asylum seekers do not return to the country they fled. In fact, asylum is reserved for people who cannot return due to danger of persecution.

In the interview with Judson, Monsef also reveals…(READ MORE)

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